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(Vermilion) - A Change.org petition has already garnered 90,000 signatures in an attempt to criminally charge people who overdose on opiates, and are given life-saving drugs by first-responders. The petition, which the creator said would be delivered to Erie County Commissioner Bill Monaghan, says that "a heroin addict can overdose and be back at home that same evening with no criminal charges."
While there are times when people face charges because of investigations involving overdose calls, Ohio joined 37 states and the District of Columbia last year by signing into law a so-called "911 Good Samaritan" law. House Bill 110 granted immunity to callers and to the person overdosing on heroin, opioids or other drugs from arrest, charging, prosecution, conviction and penalization for a minor drug possession offense.
The full text of the petition is below:
In Erie County, Ohio and much of the state, a heroin addict can overdose and be back at home that same evening with no criminal charges. Why is it that someone in possession of marijuana can get charged, someone drinking and driving can get charged, but a heroin addict can overdose in public etc and not get a single charge? Why is it OK for a heroin addict to tie up EMS and first responders and cost millions of dollars to the state and tax payers to cover the cost of Narcan and these EMS runs? Why??? We started this petition with the goal of making that change. Heroin is by far one of the worst drugs available anymore and people are getting away with it on a daily basis. Ems workers are responding to overdose calls on a daily basis and these people get brought back to life and sent home. Where are the adult consequences for abusing, possession etc that any other drug user gets when caught with such things? It's time to start making these people own up to what they are doing, it's time to take away everything they own and give them a dose of reality while they sit in a cell and think about what it is they are doing. At any given moment there are people on Heroin behind the wheels of cars, sitting next to you in restaurants, leaving needles on the street for our kids to find etc. Stand up with me and let's say NO MORE!!!!! If enough of our voices are heard, we may be what's needed to cause something to change. Let's not wait until it's too late and the cemetery continues to fill up unnecessarily!!!!! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.